Marijuana Moment is a wire service assembled by Tom Angell, a marijuana legalization activist and journalist covering marijuana reform nationwide. The views expressed by Angell or Marijuana Moment are neither endorsed by the Globe nor do they reflect the Globe’s views on any subject area.
Federal regulations haven’t been issued for CBD yet, but that’s not stopping Americans from utilizing the cannabis compound, according to a survey released by Gallup on Wednesday.
In fact, one in seven Americans (14 percent) report using some form of CBD, primarily for therapeutic purposes.
The poll, which involved phone interviews with more than 2,500 adults from June 19 to July 12, illustrates the wide appeal of CBD nationwide since the 2018 Farm Bill was approved in December, federally legalizing hemp and its derivatives like cannabidiol.
Though young adults and people living in the West are the most likely to use CBD (20 and 21 percent, respectively), people from all demographics and regions are evidently partaking. Almost one in 10 individuals 65 or older use CBD, for example. And 13 percent of people from the South reported using the non-intoxicating ingredient, compared to 11 percent in both the Midwest and East.
Gallup also asked respondents about what they use CBD for and found that the vast majority of individuals take it for medical purposes. Forty percent said they use CBD for pain, 20 percent for anxiety, 11 percent for sleep, 8 percent for arthritis, 5 percent for headaches, and 5 percent for stress.
(The percentages in the chart don’t add up to 100 due to some respondents using CBD for multiple purposes.)
Overall, therapeutic uses accounted for about 90 percent of all responses, with just 5 percent total reporting recreational CBD consumption.
The survey offers another example of the explosive growth of the CBD industry and the strong interest among Americans in finding alternatives to pharmaceuticals for the treatment of various conditions, particularly pain.
But while CBD products are turning up everywhere — in grocery stores, dispensaries, gas stations, online, pet shops, and more — the Food and Drug Administration is still in the process of developing rules to allow for marketing the product in food or as dietary supplements. For now, the FDA is prioritizing enforcement against CBD companies that make unsanctioned claims about the therapeutic benefits of the products.
Former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb wrote an op-ed for The Washington Post last month calling for the speedy development of CBD regulations so the agency can “fulfill its public-health obligations and meet the political demand for these goods.”